Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving
Lipari island has thermal baths that use water heated by the extinct volcano. The baths were used until the mid 1900s. I spoke to one local woman in her 60s who remembered being taken there by her mother on a donkey to visit her grandfather. Her mother worked there and her grandfather would soak in the warm, mineral rich water to ease the pain of his arthritis.
It was recently discovered that thermal baths were originally built on the site by Mycenean people from Ancient Greece. EU money has been used to perform some basic excavations of the original pools and make large poster boards that are displayed in the modern therapy centre. The posters are very thorough and explain the geological and cultural history. They are in Italian and are very text heavy so it would take me hours to read and understand everything.
A bilingual guide took us on a free tour of the original Mycenean thermal baths, speaking very fast Italian and then perfect English for me. It’s a great site and I’d love to return there alone and spend 4 hours learning and appreciating.
Lipari island holds an annual festival of capers and olives. The festival began at the ancient Greek thermal baths at Terme de San Colagero with free glasses of Malvasia (sweet local wine, like sherry) and sesame seed coated biscuits, accompanied by live music. The singer Mario Tessuto arrived for a photo with all of us and then the festival moved on to the piazza in Pianoconte. I was there with my mother-in-law and her friend and we had a lovely time at Terme de San Colagero. We didn’t continue to Pianoconte for the concert by Mario Tessuto.
One of the most popular places for tourists to visit on Lipari island is the scenic viewpoint called Quattrocchi. It means 4 eyes and when I asked a local why she said it’s because the view is so lovely that it can’t be appreciated properly by only 2 eyes!
On the road between Lipari village and Quattrocchi viewpoint is a Christian church. Very recently it was suggested that the church was once a synagogue for the local Jewish community in pre-Christian times. Apparently the markings on the stone doorway are similar to those on the synagogue (now church) that we visited in Syracuse and that similarity was used as evidence that it was a synagogue. Apparently the Jewish people were not welcome to settle in the villages of Lipari or Pianoconte so they settled on the dry hillside instead and built their synagogue there. This is what I was told by a local anyway.